President Donald Trump's Administration Violates Agreement, Releases '60 Minutes' Interview Ahead of Broadcast

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Donald Trump 60 Minutes
60 Minutes/CBS

President Donald Trump on Thursday violated an agreement with CBS News and released the White House's recording of an interview with 60 Minutes, three days ahead of the expected Sunday airing on CBS. 

The full exchange, which runs approximately 37 minutes, was taped Tuesday at the White House and includes questions from correspondent Lesley Stahl about Mr. Trump's response to the pandemic, the economy and the unverified claim that his campaign was "spied on" by the Obama administration, in addition to other topics.  

In a statement, CBS News said:

"The White House's unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades. 60 Minutes, the most-watched news program on television, is widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week.  Few journalists have the presidential interview experience Lesley Stahl has delivered over her decades as one of the premier correspondents in America and we look forward to audiences seeing her third interview with President Trump and subsequent interview with Vice President [Mike] Pence this weekend."

The president had left the interview early and later threatened to release the White House's own recording. 

In one exchange, Stahl challenges Mr. Trump on his claim that Biden is a "corrupt politician." 

"The biggest scandal was when they spied on my campaign. They spied on my campaign, Lesley," said Mr. Trump. 

"Well, there's no real evidence of that," said Stahl, adding, "You know, this is 60 Minutes. And we can't put on things we can't verify."

The Sunday broadcast will also feature a separate interview with former Vice President Joe Biden, which was conducted Monday by CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell in Wilmington, Delaware, and interviews with the running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris.

This story was originally published by CBS News on Oct. 22, 2020 at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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